Gurus, mavens and experts convey information – they tell you the way things are. Organizers, conversely, cultivate leadership and facilitate a community’s exploration of its vision – they offer a way to see how things could be.
If organizers limit themselves to seeing Twitter as a strategy in and of itself – without considering the strategy apart from the tool – they risk overlooking ways to run a more effective campaign on other platforms, or augmenting a campaign using multiple platforms. Worse, organizers risk giving supporters feel-good activism that quenches their desire for social change without actually moving the movement closer to a concrete goal, or putting any pressure on powerholders.
Just a quick note to say I’ll be speaking as part of Social Actions’ “Using Facebook for Social Change” webinar on Thursday, along with Susan Gordon, the nonprofit coordinator of Causes, and moderated by Beth Pickard and David Karp of Firstgiving: “You’re invited to join in a live and open text chat to discuss how you can use Facebook for social change. This is your opportunity to share experiences and ask questions about how people and orgs can do outreach, inspire action, and fund raise on the Facebook network.”
Even if Bryght/Acquia/May First went out of business tomorrow, virtually all of its customers could find another vendor to take their system completely intact and get them up and running in an hour or two.
In this presentation from the Democracy in Action Community Conference 2008, I talk about some of the successful approaches for nonprofits in using social networks like Facebook and MySpace, and social media like Flickr and YouTube. I give detailed examples of how the Genocide Intervention Network, where I served as director of communications and Internet strategy coordinator for four years, used social networking to achieve its goals in membership development, advocacy and fundraising.
Some really incredible presentations here at the NetSquared conference, both from featured projects and individual speakers. Seth Horwitz and I are busily collecting information for next Tuesday’s Philly NetSquared event.
The NetSquared Year Three conference has gotten off to a great start: Nonprofit staffers, activists, techies and funders gathering to talk about – and award some money to – using technology for social change.
Some nonprofits, older and more institutionalized, are wary of giving their members “control” of their “message” in social media. Mostly, I think that’s nothing more than a fear of losing power. When you think you know how to change the world, it can be hard for some people to want to involve others. But the message to nonprofits seems pretty clear: Stand in our way, and we’ll just go around you.
This week, the Genocide Intervention Network was honored to be nominated by the NetSquared community as a 2008 Featured Project for our proposal to upgrade and extend the DarfurScores.org website. Thank you to everyone who offered your support!
In return for NetSquared’s generosity, I wanted to post some tips for nonprofits thinking about using Drupal for their sites – when to use it and when not to use it, as well as a few useful tidbits from a recent workshop.